Sure, it might be the 10th anniversary of superhero movie benchmark The Dark Knight, but the DC movie universe isn’t exactly the place to be these days. That’s the conceit of the star-studded skit from last night’s kickoff of Conan’s annual trip to Comic-Con, anyway, as Conan O’Brien’s Caped Crusader glumly sidles up to the cafeteria cabal of Avengers and asks if he can be on their team. It makes sense, as Conan’s is the current DCU Bats, saddled with a Justice League both dour and box-office challenged, while the Marvel gang guffaws lustily at their popularity and the fact that it’s not always fucking raining all the time.
Plus, Conan’s Avengers team boasts some serious comic firepower, as Rob Huebel’s Iron Man, David Koechner’s Thor, Riki Lindhome’s Black Widow, and Keegan-Michael Key’s Black Panther all take turns mocking Conan’s Batfleck for his lackluster DC cohorts. (“Bruce Lame,” is a nickname that only a table filled with critically and financially spoiled super-jerks could come up with.) And no offense to Conan’s JL buddies (including You’re The Worst’s Chris Geere as a dully chipper Superman and Workaholics’ Blake Anderson, obsessing over jellyfish boners as Aquaman), but, in a world where gate receipts rule, the Marvel table is the center of the cinematic universe. (Wonder Woman doesn’t make an appearance, as her above-average DC cinematic outing would scuttle the comic premise.)
With plenty of crossover-company snaps (even Key’s stately T’Challa gets in on the act), all looks lost before potential rescue comes from the unlikeliest of heroes. After absorbing a Hulk-sized helping of abuse from the lunchroom Avengers, Andy Richter’s Robin shows the backbone his toadying mentor lacks, finally shutting down Huebel’s sneering Tony Stark as a “Richie Rich” who bought himself “an iPhone case that he can wear,” and giving a dismissive double-bird to the futilely rebooted Fantastic Four movies. (“Oh yeah? Well, it’s not even part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe!,” is all humiliated jock Iron Man can muster in return.) Still, Conan’s Dark Knight wants in, even though his inability to lift Mjölnir and his ability to get choked out by Black Widow for mocking her gender makes his prospects even dimmer than, well, another Fantastic Four movie.
Conan at San Diego Comic-Con continues all this week.